mindful living, effortless style

A MEGA guide with TONS of on getting your closet organized and under control ideas

POYEL: Decluttering the Closets

image source


We’re shipping the kids off for some fun with the grandparents this weekend. And while they’re playing in the sun, guess what we’ll be doing.  Decluttering as much as possible.

(We’re also squeezing in a few dates – in case you were worried.)  My hubby will be spending the majority of his time outside while I’ve got my eye on our closets – all of them.  From clothes and coats to toiletries and brooms, I intend to ruthlessly clean out and organize them all.


That means it’s time for another installment of Project Organize Your ENTIRE Life.  This week I’m challenging you to tackle that closet in your home that makes you cringe every time you open it (or worse, duck for cover). As always, I’ve rounded up lots of tips and inspiration to get you prepared. Ready?


If you’re anything like me, it’s your private living spaces that are the most neglected.  On the organizational totem pole in my house, my bedroom is always on the bottom.  This time things are going to be different.  I’m starting with my closet and working my way out to the rest of the house.   Here are a few resources I’ll be utilizing:


  • 11 Ways to Have an Organized Grown Up Closet – I love the emphasis on both form and function here.  I just know having an honest to God “grown up” closet will motivate me to keep it looking good.
  • In case my enthusiasm starts to wane in the middle of everything (not that that’s every happened before), I’ve bookmarked this post which is full of useful tips on how to pare down your closet (gradually if need be).
  • This post nicely illustrates how to use specific types of closet organizing products.  It’s also a great example of what to do when with all your stuff when actual closet space isn’t sufficient.
  • Once I have my pretty closet, I vow to keep it that way by remembering to ask myself, “What is this closet for?” and acting accordingly.


Next on my list is the linen closet – where my haphazard collection of lotion and cosmetic samples go to die.  I love the look of these inexpensive DIY storage baskets.  The “neck” and “wrist” categories especially appeal to my quirky sensibilities.


In the end though, I’ll likely go with a system more like the one pictured above from Better Homes & GardensClever Closets Slideshow. According to them, rolling towels takes up less space then folding them (I’m currently drowning in towels).


I also like their ideas of using shelf dividers to create cubbies within each shelf and towel racks on the back of the door for items that tend to wrinkle.  Read on for ideas on three more types of closets.


Once all of my stuff is taken care off, I’ll be once again turning my sights on the kids’ stuff.  This is actually one area where I don’t suck have done a pretty good job.  I’ll mainly just be clearing out clothes that are too small or out of season.  In case you have a little more work to do, here are some tips…


Since kid clothes are so small, a lot of the space can be wasted under a curtain rod.  I’m a big believer in filling up this space with storage containers and I’ve included a few pretty examples here to get you inspired.  (For reference, C has a stack of plastic bins filled with out-of-rotation toys in his closet and S has an entire dresser in hers.)


(top left) – I love the whole set-up of this one.  Though I doubt I’ll ever go as far as labeling the kids’ outfits for each day of the week, I dig the toy labels.  Whichever you prefer, they’re all available as free printables.


(top right) – If you’re blessed with enough storage that you don’t need to double up in the closet, then I highly recommend a reading nook instead.


(bottom left) – My favorite ideas incorporated into this setup include plastic bins for shoes and a child-friendly step stool and laundry organizer.


(bottom right) – This Pinterest find incorporates something we also did in S’s room, replacing doors with curtains. Getting rid of her bi-fold closet doors made her small room look less so and eliminated the possibilities for finger-pinching.



In my house that pretty much covers all the closets we have.  The one exception to this is our coat closet, which we have under control. Here’s a good post on that topic if you need it.


For the truly spoiled amongst you who actually have things like a utility closet (gasp), I thought I’d throw in a few more covet-worthy spaces.  Many of these links are only a part of entire closet cleaning series, so click through if you’re hungry for more.


Utility Closets

(left) – part of Better Homes and Gardens20 Savvy Ways to Stay Organized
(top right) – part of Real Simple‘s 31 Ways to Organize Your Closet
(bottom right) – Organize a Closet and Feel True Happiness from Stephmodo, image by Karl Anderson for IKEA 

Craft Closets

(left) – part of Real Simple‘s 9 Craft Room Makeover Ideas
(right) – Pinterest find, definitely done with some IKEA


This post is part of MPMK’s “Project Organize Your ENTIRE Life”.  You can read all about it here, check out all of projects here, and join thousands of POYEL facebook group members here.




P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and save time so you can connect with your family? Follow these 3 steps:

1) Check out our "Save Your Spring" bundle: over 50 pages of 2015 daily/weekly/monthly planners, cleaning schedules, meal planners, kids’ routine charts, budgeting sheets and much more PLUS 84 pages of kid activities perfect for spring break!

Over 50 pages of organizational gold


2) Sign up for our newsletter:

sign up for the newsletter and get a free 6 week meal plan


3) Bookmark our famous Gift Guides for the next time you need the perfect kids' gift! (350+ detailed descriptions including age recommendations)

Our infamous kids' gift guides

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Liveseygirl May 3, 2012 at 5:33 am

This is the second blog of the week that I follow thst about getting organised (the first was about no junk drawers athriftymrs.com). I think the Lord is tryibg to tell me something so I will get on it. Thanks for all the links such a great post :-)


Beth Tunnell May 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Thank you! This is perfect timing for me. I’m starting project clean my room, because the adult section of my life is always given last priority. First stop: Overflowing Closet.


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com May 10, 2012 at 11:08 pm

This was a comment left by Mary P that I’m moving to this location:

How to Declutter
One of the mistakes we commonly make when we declutter is dragging out the contents of every drawer, closet, nook and cranny. Concentrate on one small area at a time.
 Before you start to declutter make sure you are showered, dressed, and have your normal daily tasks completed.
 Prepare three boxes, crates, bags or containers.
 Set a timer for the amount of time you have decided to declutter each day (5, 10, 15, 30 45 or 60 minutes)
 Start near your regular point of entry into you home. Work around each room dealing with each object as you reach it.
 It doesn’t matter which direction you work in, you decide.
 Decide whether an item is where it needs to be or if it needs to be given away, thrown away or put away somewhere else.
 Do not leave the room to put items away in a different room. You will be distracted.
 When the timer goes off put the items to give away in your car trunk to take to your favorite charity, or someone who needs them. Do not bless people with clutter they do not need, please.
 Put the trash in the trash receptacle.
 Put items from the PUT AWAY container where they belong.
 Be focused and do not allow yourself to be distracted. Work intently and quickly during your decluttering time.
 Do not take out more than you can put away in a few minutes.
 The kitchen is one of the most challenging rooms. Save the kitchen for last.
 Do not go out and purchase organizers until you have decluttered and know what you need. Organizers can become clutter.
 Store items closest to their place of use. If you don’t, these items will migrate and settle into the areas where they are used.
 Finish one room before you move into the next.
 Make note of the place where you stop each day.
 Remember the purpose of each room and what happens in that room. (Bill paying, reading, sleeping, eating, playing, viewing television, etc.)
 When I am finished decluttering a flat surface, I like to place something pretty or interesting on it. If surfaces look attractive people are less likely to put junk on it.


custom closets September 11, 2012 at 7:19 am

Nice post. it is just the same information I have been seeking for. I will surely make all these ideas into consideration. I am so much excited now to organize my closet.


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }